Thursday, December 01, 2005

new and old world widgets

It struck me in a conversation with my fiancee last night that a key measurement of todays technology (2.0) excitement and that of my days in 99 are containment (or the lack of!). Is there enough focus on pragmatic fundamentals, and real commercial mass appeal this time around? As an employee of a very large razor company in boston, she plays a key part on the supply and delivery of the most insignificant of things on a razor (man or woman). the release button that allows one to change the blade! ofcourse we are talking billions and billions a year and to anyone well versed in production planning and supply chain management (which i am not) the importance of synchronized widget production is the old world version of a 5 9's type business performance requirement. When i look at the web 2.0 world, i am struck by a very simple difference here. She worries about the button so that you and i don't even register its importance. Its there, it works we use it daily, never seen it break etc. the web 2.0 comparison is a buton that comes in a kit, has completely unitelligle instructions and has little apparent value (and i use apparent carefully here) to the mass market. i mean what is the goverining context of 2.0 that will turn on the light bulb to your average web user? and are the bleeding edge innovators of this new world doing enough to really drive mass adoption. Who is going to take the pain out of installing learning about and ultimately using these tools?

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